Thursday, September 29, 2016

day32: coffee, coffee, coffee ....

Since today is National Coffee Day, I figured it is a good day to review the good and the bad about coffee, as it is a favorite beverage in our house.

Coffee used to be thought of as bad for you but there has been a change in that theory.  Recent studies have discovered that drinking coffee has some health benefits.  Coffee can help protect the drinker from some cancers and other diseases. It can also possibly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Good quality coffee is also full of antioxidants and "interestingly coffee could even lower your risk from a certain skin cancer, as the "caffeine in coffee may interact with a type of “repair gene” that plays a role in the development of basal cell carcinoma, says Dr. Jiali Han."
Coffee: Is It Bad For You? Markham Heid TIMES magazine:
However even with all this new found information about how beneficial drinking coffee can be, it is also important to remember the possible negative effects of coffee.  Caffeine can mess with your system.  If you have issues with anxiety or panic you want to watch your caffeine intake.  Drinking lots of coffee will promote the release of the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These chemicals increase your body’s heart rate, blood pressure and tension levels – the old ‘fight or flight’ response.  A lot of caffeine can also make one jumpy.  I believe there is a fine line between when caffeine is helping you focus and pay attention and when caffeine is making you so wired that you can't concentrate.

Also you want to limit your coffee consumption if you have trouble sleeping. Depending on how caffeine affects you, you should not drink coffee, or caffeine in the afternoon. And coffee should not be the first thing that you put in your stomach,
"drinking coffee on an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning, stimulates hydrochloric acid production. This can be a problem because HCl should only be produced to digest meals. If your body has to make HCl more often in response to regular cups of coffee, it may have difficulty producing enough to deal with a large meal."

Lastly these findings refer to a cup of black coffee, not all these new fancy highly sweetened and full of syrup coffees that can be found on almost every street corner.  When you have coffee, be aware of what is being added to it,
"keep in mind that the research is typically based on coffee that’s black or with a little milk or sugar, but not with the kind of high-calorie coffeehouse beverages that have become popular over the past few years. A 24-ounce mocha Frappachino at Starbucks with whipped cream has almost 500 calories—that’s 25 percent of the daily calorie intake for someone who requires 2,000 calories a day."  Ask the Expert: Coffee and health, The Expert: Dr. Rob van DamHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

So with most all things in life, it is good to practice moderation when it comes to our beloved cup of coffee!!! But it is nice to know that it is not a horrible habit to have.  Also researchers don't believe that if you don't drink coffee already, that you should start, but that might not be relevant for this household!
love, mom

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